High Tech Medicine Can Be Bad for Your Health

You reach a certain age and all your friends are getting sick, going to lots of doctors, having lots of tests, and taking lots of medicine. No surprise there.

The surprise is how many of your friends tell you that their doctors have made glaring errors and that the tests and treatments have caused them more harm than good. And surprising also that often it is the best doctors at the most high tech places who seem to make the most egregious errors.

The problem is that too many doctors have gotten into the habit of treating lab tests, not patients. And doctors have become super-specialized, each one focusing only on one specific organ system and the specIfic meds used to treat it. Too often, there is no one doctor coordinating an overall plan of medical care. Lots of tests, lots of procedures, and lots of interacting meds are ordered in a haphazard way that in aggregate may cause serious complications or even death.

Not very long ago, I wrote a blog called “Why Are Medical Mistakes Our Third Leading Cause of Death?

I described the particularly disorganized and dangerous treatments received by a friend with lung cancer. His doctors kept ordering unnecessary tests and treatments that seemed likely to kill him even before his disease could. Paradoxically, they were all smart; highly trained; worked at esteemed hospitals; and used the latest in high tech testing and treatment. They were doing dangerous things because they didn’t really know theit patient and all the other treatments he was getting and also lacked common sense and good clinical judgment. Excessive dependence on high tech tools had made them bad doctors.

Today’s blog tells a tale of medical misadventure that would be hysterically funny were it not so —> Read More